I can certainly say that the standard of music concerts in PNG have definitely taken a step forward after Saturday nights Wally Pazzi concert. Unlike other concerts I’ve seen, attention was given to the visual as well as the audio with large black drapes hanging as the background to the stage. A large screen projector with 3 cameras at the event to show live image broadcasts of the artists in action. A wider selection of stage lights for added effect and finally to top it off the main speakers were all suspended from the roof so that more space was give on the stage for the artists to move around. And although the speakers were in fact smaller than the ones I saw at the CHM concert they were definitely just as loud and effective. In fact the sound engineers did a better job this time round. So I’d like to say, thats two thumbs up for Jelena and her home grown company, Next of Kin Productions for a job well done on the technical aspects of the concert.
As usual the full crowd doesn’t start turning up until 10pm, but again another top crowd with a couple of young Aussies and POMs rocking up too. I’m noticing now that with these concerts people seem to just have more fun than the night clubs, because again the swimming pool dance floor was fully attended to for the entire night. Its nice to finally be in an atmosphere where everyone is there to enjoy the music and not having to worry about the other hassles of being annoyed by drunkards, trying to be picked up (not that I was being picked up) and worst of all fights. Seems to me that the music and the focus of a concert diffuses all that negativity for everyone to let their guards down just a little and to display their true dancing skills.
This was also the debut for major Sponsors Motorola in PNG’s advertising industry. They did not waste time in giving out water bottles, stick on tattoos, bags and free mobile phones on the night. I had a chat with one of their people who attended the concert and I asked why they would come in directly with their marketing instead of letting the Telco’s do the sales and marketing. She said something along the lines that, with a country of 6 million, they thought it was a very logical thing to do.
So Wally Pazzi and his crew finally graced us with their presence. The Solomon Islands star did not disappoint and after listening to his mp3’s before the concert he actually sounds better live. His raga rapping band member was definitely a talent on his own who skillfully underlined and punctuated Wally’s lyrics. And the sound, the sound was just fantastic a full bodied blast of balanced sound which really brought out the artists talent. with his hit songs like ‘Grooven’, ‘Come Around’ and ‘How Long’ the crowd lapped it all up like crazy party animals. Solomon Islands music is certainly making its mark in the Pacific and I have no doubt that there is more to come from our cousins across the seas.
One thing though, there were some points where Wally did sound a bit flat and I’m guessing that maybe this was due to not enough experience with live concerts. They also had an annoying program where Wally would have 10-15 min breaks in between every 3-4 sets. They did this 3 times throughout the night. I guess this was so they could spread out his singing throughout the night because they only had 2 acts really for the night but it was annoying nevertheless. While we’re on the issue of not enough acts for the night there were two other singers there that need mentioning and who had performed before Wally and they are Kalem Bray and George Kali.
The band before Wally Pazzi were the Tonic band who have a regular gig at the Ozzies Bar at the Ela Beach hotel. They are a very talented group musically and although they usually play cover songs at Ozzies tonight they were really out to show that they are moving up into creating their own music. With George Kali and his Axel Rose voice singing away at keyboards and then the young fresh out of high school Kalem Bray, I’d be looking out for Tonic’s debut album in 2009 sometime. Kalem actually had a sing with Wali during the show and I can see that this boy certainly has talent. However he’s moving to Cairns this Christmas so we’ll be keeping an eye on this possible new star in future.
Wally Pazzi is definately an act that I’d like to catch again. With Solomon Islands progression in their musical development a friend of mine remarked to me that they see a Jamaica style of music revolution taking place there. A small group of islands but with some big talent coming our way.